Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Conservative Catholics Question Beatification of John Paul II: Breaking News

Father Marcial Maciel and Pope John Paul II

And here's a fascinating bit of news: it's not merely marginalized, hanging-on-by-the-fingernails Catholics like me who are raising serious questions about the push to beatify John Paul II so precipitously.  It's conservative Catholics who are now also raising questions--some conservative Catholics, at least.

As Tom Fox reports yesterday in National Catholic Reporter, a number of influential Catholic conservatives have signed a petition at the website of Remnant Online calling into serious question the intent to beatify John Paul  immediately.  Among the reasons these Catholics are offering for their reservations?  John Paul's protection of the notorious predator-priest Marcial Maciel.

And they're even pointing out that the single miracle attributed to John Paul, on which the rush to canonize him is based, is ambiguous and open to further discussion.

When those who have most ardently defended the architects of restorationist Catholicism--John Paul II and Benedict--begin to ask critical questions about precisely what this model is doing to the Catholic church, something monumental may be underway in the culture of Catholicism.  As I noted when the Euteneuer case broke open (and here), one of the noteworthy aspects of that case was the willingness of right-wing Catholic websites to blow the whistle on Euteneuer, who had formerly been their darling.

The same thing is happening, to an extent, with the Corapi case.  As I noted two days ago, I first got wind of this case by reading the critical--and good--commentary about Corapi (which goes beyond the question of his guilt or innocence vis-a-vis the current allegations against him) at two Catholic websites with a strongly conservative bent. 

Why the willingness of those who have formerly fiercely defended the powers that be to speak out now?  I suspect it has something to do with just how bad things really are right now for the Catholic church.  There's simply no longer any way to pretend that things are anything other than horrific, when it comes to the public reputation of the Catholic church and to demographic indicators about its future in the developed sector of the world.

Maybe a few more folks are waking up to the fact that, if no one does anything soon, there won't be much left to defend, when all is said and done.  And that waking up is all to the good, if it's really taking place.

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